Saturday, November 22, 2008

An Early Thanksgiving

In the US, this coming Thursday is Thanksgiving. It's probably my favorite day of the year (aside from Halloween!) and for many reasons.

I carry within me, childhood memories of waking on Thanksgiving morning to the smells of roasting turkey, apples, and oranges. While my mother was the work-a-day cook in our household, my father was in charge of Thanksgiving. He would start cooking in the early morning hours and by the time I woke up, he was already deep into preparation. His signature baste for turkey was a mixture of white wine and apple juice, the bird stuffed with quartered apples and oranges.

The entire extended family always gathered at our house for Thanksgiving and we sat in our formal dining room--a room where most of the rest of the year was off limits.

Now, as an adult, I have started my own cooking rituals. My husband and I both love to cook and Thanksgiving becomes a dance between the two of us in the kitchen. It is one of the many things in my life I am thankful for.

I also have so many blessings in my life and this is as good a day as any to stop and reflect upon them. (Actually, every day is a good time!)

I am thankful for my husband. He is my partner in every sense of the word--in life, as a parent, a friend, a lover. I cannot imagine how barren my life would be without him.

I am thankful for my lovely children. My teen aged boys who still hug me, and laugh with me and their father at the dinner table. They are quirky and thoughtful young men, growing into their own almost more quickly than I can bear.

I am thankful for the love of my family. My parents and sister who keep me honest by remembering my childhood, even (especially) the parts I'd like to forget. And my in-law family, who have enlarged my life and swept me into their rituals and their hearts.

I am thankful for the memories and the love I received from friends and family who are no longer here with me.

I am thankful for my friends, near and far, who keep me in their hearts even when I'm not a very faithful correspondent, and when I turn inward during times of stress instead of reaching out to them.

I am thankful for our lovely Nurjan, who has become like a daughter to me in this past year and has enriched our lives beyond measure.

I am thankful for my dog, who loves me, unconditionally, but even more when I have a liver treat in my pocket.

I am thankful for the gift of words, the writers I have met on and through the 'net (waves to WPF and FM friends!), and the support of my family for my writing. I am also thankful for my many characters who at turns entertain, frustrate, and enrich my life.

May your lives be full of blessings and many, many things to be thankful for.

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